Intriguing Indochine: Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam; Discover Southeast Asia's Exotic Past in This Land of Temples, Ancient Empires, and Cultural Melange
In 1887, by French proclamation, "Indochine" came into being, an amalgamation of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, its name a nod to the intermingling of Indian and Chinese cultures in these lands. Home to six UNESCO World Heritage sites, this region is rich in remnants of ancient kingdoms.
Luang Prabang, until 1975 the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos, retains an air of old Southeast Asia. Known as the "jewel of Indochine," it houses a treasure trove of temples, golden Dtupas, colonial mansions, and palaces, including the well-known historical sites of the Haw Kham Royal Palace Museum and the Wat Xieng Thong Temple.
In Cambodia, the temples of Angkor dominate the ancient capital of the Great Khmer Empire, a testament to the country's glorious past. The main temple, Angkor Wat, has become a national symbol, appearing on Cambodia's flag, and is certainly the country's prime attraction for visitors. The epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture, it was built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple.
Outside the bustling cities of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) in the south and Hanoi in the north, Vietnam's quaint port of Hoi An boasts unspoiled ancient Chinese temples as well as stately 17th-century homes built by Asian and European traders. The temple complex at My Son is a fascinating mix of Indian and Javanese cultures. …